Well, that's another one for the books folks. Yet again, we see a Texas Tech team that's well rounded and stands out on both sides of the ball. However, the 38 points scored by the Red Raider offense is what sealed the deal for Saturday’s victory. Here’s a rundown of how each position performed and which player stood out among the rest:
For his second outing of the season, sophomore Alan Bowman had a pretty solid performance in the pocket. The young Red Raider starter went 30-45 for 260 yards and three touchdowns against UTEP. Although he kept the offensive meter going, Bowman didn't exactly have a perfect game. There were some crucial moments when he missed his target down field or in the end zone. He even threw an interception that could have easily turned the tables for Tech. Technically, he should have had four touchdowns, but again, he wasn't as on point as his prior outing. It’s expected for him to have some dirt on his shoulder with this being only his second game of the season and coming off an injury from his freshman year. I’m not saying Bowman didn't do his job, because the stats show that he got the job done. All I know is there are still a few steps to be taken for him to reach that elite level, but he’s almost there.
Running Backs: A
There’s really not much to worry about any of these guys. It seems like almost everyone at this position got a chance to take the ball and run with it... literally. I know Tech has usually always relied on its wide receiver core, but this isn't the thought process for the Red Raiders this season. We finally have guys who can move the ball down field with their agility and speed. Senior Armand Shyne, sophomore Ta’Zawhn Henry and freshman Sarodorick Thompson all had stand out performances. Shyne rushed for 45 total yards in just 8 carries along with 1 touchdown. Thompson also rushed for 45 yards in 8 carries, which is not a small feet for the youngest of the three mentioned above. Last but not least was Henry, who showed glimpses of promise last season, and is only solidifying his skills this year. Running back coach Deandre Smith has done wonders with the Red Raiders run game. With these guys under his wing, the sky is the limit for this crew.
Wide Receivers: A+
I wont lie, when former Red Raider Antoine Wesley announced he was declaring for the draft after last season I was real nervous for Tech’s air game. However, that fear has quickly faded after just watching 2 games this season. Against UTEP, the wide receiver crew went for a total of 264 yards in just 32 receptions. Who really surprised me at this position was sophomore Dalton Rigdon. Man did he show what he was made of. In just 4 receptions, Rigdon recorded 66 yards with 1 touchdown to add to his stat sheet. He would have had even more yards if Bowman would have caught him in the end zone, but that still doesn't take away from his play on Saturday. Senior RJ Turner, junior T.J. Vasher and Henry also showed glimpses of greatness down field. Especially Vasher, who I will definitely get into more a little later.
Offensive Line: B+
I wish I could grade these guys higher, but without senior Terence Steele and junior Jack Anderson on the line, things just didn't click quite fast enough. There were several instances where someone missed the block and allowed the defense to shake Bowmans’ game. It’s never a pretty site to see a wide open hole and watch your quarterback get smacked. Especially when he has been prone to injury before. The lack of Steele and Anderson’s presence really showed out there. Even though it wasn't perfect, it was still a job well done for Tech’s offensive line. They honestly did the best they could and still held the defense off for a majority of the plays to help the ball reach the end zone.
Offensive Player of the Week: T.J. Vasher
There were so many Red Raiders deserving of this title after the 38-8 demolition of UTEP. However, none quite showed up like Vasher did. We’ve all known he’s been a main target for Tech’s offense over the season, but not quite like this season. The chemistry between him and Bowman has reached new heights. Vasher led the Red Raiders with 78 yards in just 6 receptions for 2 touchdowns. He’s a huge target for this offense. Not just in his talent, but truly in his size alone. Every season is seems he has grown more and more, which makes him easy to find down the field. He’s listed at 6’6 and 210 Ibs, but he may be even larger than that. His stature makes Bowman’s job easier, which is nice to have that load taken off your quarterback.
I’ve watched this guy play since middle school, and every time he steps on the field I become more and more amazed at his ability to catch the ball, maneuver around the defense and reach the end zone with ease. I believe I've already mention he’s a junior, which means we still have this season and next season to watch him ball out for the Red Raiders. I don't know about you, but he makes this team that much more exciting.